The Maukinak Trail: paddling from Dryden to Quetico

Today’s post comes from Lise Sorensen, Quetico’s Atikokan Entry Station Gate Attendant and off-season Trails Officer with the Path of the Paddle. If you’re planning to paddle the Maukinak Trail, this info will be indispensable.

Follow the path. It will lead you through boreal rivers and crystal-clear lakes, and past silent, watchful cliffs. Your guides will be eagles and your destination endless.

An integral segment of The Great Trail (Trans Canada Trail), the Path of the Paddle is a ribbon of water that stretches from Thunder Bay to the Manitoba border.

The Maukinak segment of the Path of the Paddle transects vast tracts of uninhabited crown land and connects the small communities of Atikokan and Dryden.

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Spring fishing in the Thirty Thousand Islands

A breathtaking 13,000 ha of the Thirty Thousand Islands and eastern Georgian Bay Coast is protected by The Massasauga Provincial Park, between Moon River and Parry Sound.

The Thirty Thousand Islands are the world’s largest freshwater archipelago, a 200 km chain of pink rocky islands from Port Severn to the French River.

Anyone who has visited the area will tell you it’s simply gorgeous.

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Why kayaks are an awesome way to fish Ontario Parks

In today’s post, Scott Gardner, Associate Editor of  Outdoor Canada, shares his love for and experience with kayak fishing. All photos below are copyright to Scott Gardner.

On a cloudless summer afternoon, I paddled around a point on Six Mile Lake, eased my boat through a jumble of boulders, and slipped into a long shallow bay. No more than 18 inches deep and blanketed in lily pads, it was perfect Largemouth Bass habitat.

Even better, the propeller-killing rock barrier made it unlikely that any serious fishing boats ever tried this spot. As my kayak ghosted silently to the edge of the weeds, I cast my lure deep into the lily field. I twitched it twice across the surface, and with a heart-stopping splash, it was ambushed by a football-sized Largemouth Bass.

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A canoe journey to each point of the compass

In today’s post, Conor Mihell captures the timelessness of Wabakimi Provincial Park.

The rumble of car tires on gravel slowly fading into the distance is the glorious sound of freedom after many long hours on the road. Silence descends, and suddenly my wife Kim and I are alone and faced with the task of loading 24 days worth of food and gear into our canoe and setting off on Little Caribou Lake, across the threshold of Wabakimi Provincial Park.

The isolation is at once daunting and exciting; there are few places where the feeling is more intense than in the hinterlands of northwestern Ontario.

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Quetico’s backcountry routes without portages

This post comes from Park Information Specialist Jill Legault of Quetico Provincial Park.

“Portaging is like hitting yourself on the head with a hammer: it feels so good when you stop.” — Bill Mason

Did you know Quetico Provincial Park’s solitary wilderness experience and pristine nature is available without portaging?

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Spring paddling safety

Itching for ice out? We certainly are.

But spring weather can be fickle. Hitting the lake too early, failing to respect weather conditions or paddling beyond your skill level isn’t just risky — it’s downright dangerous.

We chatted with Paul Smith, Superintendent of Kawartha Highlands Signature Site, to get some top do’s and don’ts for spring paddling safety:

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Exploring the Great Trail in northwestern Ontario Parks

Today’s post comes from Michelle Halstead, a travel, tourism and eco-adventure placement student with Ontario Parks Northwest Zone.

Canada is proud to be the home of the greatest recreational trail in the world. A 24,000 km trail of land and water that stretches across 10 provinces and three territories.

The Great Trail (formally known as the Trans Canada Trail or TCT) is a project that started in 1992 and with the help of various donors and volunteers working together across the nation has become one of the greatest trails in the world. The trail offers a variety of outdoor recreation activities and scenery throughout Canada’s urban, rural and wilderness areas.

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The battle of paddlers: eliminating “Portage Rage”

Today’s post comes from Roger LaFontaine, Outdoor Recreation Specialist at Ontario Parks.

With the warm weather, our minds wander from day-to-day drudgery like the terrible commute, the clicking of keyboards, the abstract shapes, and disjointed words of a presentation.

Suddenly, you’re dreaming about pine trees, a campfire, and great people you don’t get to spend enough time with.

Glazed-over eyes slowly make their way to the window, and you begin to plan your escape.

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Temagami: an ancient canoe country

Today’s post comes from Natural Heritage Education and Marketing Specialist Dave Sproule.

It’s a rugged, time-worn landscape. A fractured piece of the Canadian Shield, with fault lines criss-crossing the roots of ancient mountains for hundreds of kilometres. More than 2,500 lakes fill those fault lines, and at over 600,000 hectares, it’s almost as large as Algonquin Provincial Park.

Is it any wonder so many paddlers lose their hearts to Temagami?

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